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Shares of big-box retailer Target (TGT) - Get Free Report   surged to fresh highs on Wednesday after the company reported second-quarter earnings that handily beat analysts' estimates and it raised its full-year guidance as consumers continue to choose its offerings of cheap-chic brands and products.  

The Minnesota-based retail giant posted net income of $938 million, or $1.82 a share, vs. $799 million, or $1.47 a share, in the comparable year-ago quarter. Analysts polled by FactSet had been expecting earnings of $1.62 share.

Sales came in at $18.4 billion, vs. $17.8 billion a year ago and above Wall Street estimates of $18.3 billion. Same-store sales rose 3.4%, above the 3% pace expected by analysts. Comparable digital sales grew 34%, contributing 1.8 percentage points to comparable sales growth, the company said.

"By appealing to shoppers through a compelling assortment, a suite of convenience-driven fulfillment options, competitive prices and an enjoyable shopping experience, we're increasing Target's relevancy and deepening the relationship between our guests and our brand," CEO Brian Cornell said in a statement. 

The strong earnings numbers follow on the heels of other large retailers that have also printed solid second-quarter numbers, including Walmart (WMT) - Get Free Report , Kohl's (KSS) - Get Free Report and TJX  (TJX) - Get Free Report , though the latter two both provided cautious outlooks on Tuesday.

"Because of our outstanding performance in the first half of the year and our confidence moving forward, we are increasing our guidance for full-year earnings per share," Cornell said.

Target expects to post full-year earnings of between $5.90 and $6.20 a share, up from its previous forecast of per-share earnings of between $5.75 and $6.05. Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting full-year per-share earnings of $5.94 a share on sales of $78 billion.

Shares of Target were up more than 19% on Wednesday, rising to a record $102.01, surpassing their previous all-time intraday high of $90.39 set on Sept. 10, 2018. The company's stock has risen roughly 50% year to date, making it one of the best performers in the retail sector this year.

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